Sunday, November 25, 2007

Are "Should" and "Ought" Blocking Your Path to Love?

How to overcome three intentional roadblocks to love
By Kathryn Lord
Special to Yahoo! Personals
Updated: Nov 25, 2007

Have you heard yourself saying things like "I should be thinking about my Sweetheart 24/7 or I must not be in love" or "I should know if he (or she) is the right one for me"? Or how about "We should have... (fill in the blank: the same sense of humor, a similar background, or compatible taste in furniture)"?
I find that lots of singles have rules that guide their love life. Some rules make good sense (like only dating people who are really single and available, economically stable, and live within the law). But many rules are unrealistic, harsh, or based on romantic myths. Then these singles end up comparing their dates with their guidelines, sensible or not, and making life decisions that have enormous consequences.
I am a romance coach, but I have also been a psychotherapist for over 30 years. I learned long ago to listen carefully to the language my clients use when they talk about themselves and their lives. In particular, I'd watch for the words "should" and "ought."
What's wrong with 'should' and 'ought'
While exceedingly and commonly used, "should" and "ought" could easily be eliminated from our vocabulary. At the very least, we would all feel a lot better. Should and ought are guilt-producing words: "I should spend more time with my mother," "I really ought to lose some weight." The sayer doesn't really intend to do what he is shoulding or oughting. If so, he'd say, "I will spend more time with Mom," or "I'm going to start dieting today."
Shoulding and oughting are like giving yourself a lash on the back
Shoulding and oughting are like giving yourself a lash on the back: You are punishing yourself with your "I should" or "I ought" statements. Your guilt is eased with your punishment, making it possible to go on with your life, while never following through with what you said you should or ought to do.
In the case of love, shoulds and oughts give us a way out when we need it, just like being picky. Looking for love is loaded with anxiety: "What if it doesn't work?" "What if I find out I don't really love her?" "What if he finds out about (you fill in the blank)?" When your anxiety screams for relief, pulling out a good old should or ought can provide your escape hatch.
Top 'shoulds' and 'oughts': Road blocks to love
Let's look at some common shoulds and oughts more closely, so that we can see the errors in thinking:

1. "I should be thinking about my Sweetheart 24/7 or I must not be in love." Odd as it may sound, some people never feel the intoxicating sensations we think of as "being in love." The ability Some people fall in and out of love very easily, some people never do.
to fall in love is on a continuum:Some people fall in and out of love very easily, some people never do. Some people fall in and out of love
very easily, some people never do. Most of us are somewhere in between. Those people who never "fall in love" are still quite capable of loving and forming relationships. If you find yourself waiting for the "in love" sensation which never comes, the "I should be thinking about my Sweetheart 24/7 or I must not be in love" could keep you permanently single.

2. "I should know if he (or she) is the right one for me." Really? How? Of course there are better or worse choices, but assuming that your date meets your criteria of "good person" and the two of you enjoy each other, seem compatible, and don't irritate the heck out of each other, what more do you need? This "should" may be connected to your "falling in love" ability: If you are able to "fall in love," that biochemical process (it's like being drunk or high) helps surge you forward into a permanent relationship and over any questions or doubts.

3. "We should share the same ... (fill in the blank)." Why? One of the wonderful parts about finding a life partner is all the things that he or she knows and you don't, or is and you are not. Think of what you can learn from the differences. Or what you won't have to learn because your Yes, some similarity is good, but why would you want someone just like you?
partner already knows.Yes, some similarity is good, but why would you want someone just like you? Yes, some similarity is good, but why would you want someone just like
you? You may be pretty terrific, but how boring would it be to be married to your carbon copy!
So pay attention to your inner thoughts about love and your dates. If "should" or "ought" crop up in your thinking, take note and challenge yourself. You may have set up a condition that is road-blocking your search for love.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

What is Procrastination?

People often wonder, what is procrastination? There are many degrees to the condition so that the question of what is procrastination can become a confusing one.

The best way to determine what is procrastination is to look at the effects of a behavior. The effects of procrastination and the root causes tend to be similar form person to person, such that they become a diagnostic guide to determining what is procrastination.

You can look at the following list of concepts and symptoms to determine if you are dealing with a case of procrastination and to evaluate how severe the situation is.

- Putting off a project until the last moment is procrastination. Procrastinating dramatically cuts down on the preparation time and the perfection time for a project.

Often, people who procrastinate feel they are flying by the proverbial seat of their pants, and their priority is getting something down on paper but not necessarily the best something they can produce. Procrastination is the opposite of proactive.

Proactive people start a project ahead of time to complete it ahead of time, allowing themselves enough space to complete their tasks at a pace that is comfortable. The pace of procrastination goes from zero to sixty the night before deadline, and this switch can be very stressful.

- Procrastination results from feelings of stress and anxiety. People who are anxious or overwhelmed may procrastinate due to fear of failure or a paralysis at the scope of the task at hand.

Sadly, the stress and anxiety that cause procrastination result in even more stress and anxiety. Procrastination is a self-perpetuating art until a person makes a commitment to be more disciplined.

- Procrastination does not always equate to poor performance. There are many people who have done amazing things, and they did them at the very last minute. You cannot look at a poor project and assume procrastination is the cause of the trouble.

Likewise, a fabulous project does not always mean hours of preparation and hard work begun weeks in advance in anticipation of the deadline. Quality is not always indicative of the presence of procrastination.

- Procrastination is a habit, and like any habit can be replaced by one that is more beneficial to you and your circumstances. You cannot quit being procrastination without replacing the procrastination with new habits that help you complete your tasks in a more timely and relaxed manner.

Procrastination is an elusive concept sometimes, because people can work very hard and be very successful at hiding their tendencies to procrastinate.

Taking on more than you can handle, failing to organize and a lot your time effectively, and taking too little time to relax when it is appropriate can all result in procrastination like feelings that will wreak havoc on your work schedule and your peace of mind.

Decide today to combat procrastination in your own life, and begin to take the small and easy steps to control this habit. Once you have answered what is procrastination in your life, determine ways you can address these situations to decrease your stress level and increase your amount of free time.


Motivation is a significant factor for success in sports. Motivation and determination constitute a critical factor in how far an athlete will develop.With this characteristic added to an athlete's make-up, an athlete strives relentlessly toward his or her potential. Intense drive and determination may be the most distinguishing characteristic of young athletes who will rise to the top.

Athletes want to win, to achieve, to excel. However, individuals with self-motivation and drive go after their goals with an unwavering intention that separates them from others. Their performance in training and in competition shows steel will determination and unflagging persistence.The level and strength of motivation impact directly on how well an athlete will persevere through rigorous training schedules, setbacks, possibly injuries and disappointments. With self-motivation, the athlete perseveres and remains unwavering in a focus on goals.

Positive energy enhances motivation. Positive energy refers to being energized from positive sources such as team spirit, joy and love for the sport, a feeling of freedom, exhilaration. This skill of fueling performance from positive sources is associated with peak performance. By connecting to these positive energy sources, you can increase your motivation.With these types of energy sources, individuals can maintain and direct energy toward a goal over a long period of time. With positive energy fueling athletic performance, the body can maintain a state of calm and can be without unnecessary tension. Positive energy sources allow for sustained high level energy in performances over time and seemingly indefatigable reserves of energy for one's sport.

Top achievers typically have a high level of self-confidence. They know what they want out of life. They know how to use their strengths to reach their goals. They tend to take more risk, but they are not afraid of failure.Overall, there is something about the nature of the beliefs that peak performers have that build confidence and spurs motivation. Sally Edwards, a world class triathlete, discussed the "incurable optimism" of top performers.High achievers hold beliefs that further and support their goals. They adopt beliefs which are consistent with their achieving success and high-level performance.

Top performers mentally condition themselves with positive self-talk. Be sure that your self-talk supports your succeeding. By making adjustments in your self-talk, you can invigorate feelings of confidence and motivation.

One of the things that we know about top performers is that they use only two types of statements in their self-talk: encouraging statements and instructional statements. By following simple guidelines, you can alter your self-talk to follow in the mental tracks of top performers.

Motivation and confidence work hand in hand. If motivation starts to decline, confidence building techniques can help to bolster feelings of drive and motivation.

For more information about increasing your motivation by using positive energy sources, appropriate self-talk, and confidence building techniques, see Drive and Determination: Developing Your Inner Motivation in the books section. Drive and Determination presents a systematic program for developing heightened motivation.

Self Motivation Building The Techniques

Fear and reward are two most commonly used methods to build motivation in someone. But, these methods are temporary. The only lasting thing is self motivation. Motivation actually is the enthusiasm of doing something. It refers to inner feeling, strong desires, and expectation about something. You may sometimes loose the necessary level of the inner drive to get something done. Self motivation is what you need to boost the level of your inner drive to achieve your goals.

Self motivation is a form of self encouragement. You will say to yourself that you have the capacity to do better and eventually get whatever you want in your life. This inner enthusiasm will push you forward until you achieve your set goals. You may not even be aware of any reward in the beginning but you keep working on it. You work on it because your inner strength says that you can attain your goals. This is your will power - the driving force behind your self motivation. Self motivation is a combination of will power, goals and ability to continue attaining the highest level of your success.

You need self motivation to accomplish tasks you have now. Along the way, you may be facing with situations that are discouraging and can bring down your motivational level. You need to keep yourself really focused on your objectives to maintain the level of your self motivation. Here are techniques you can adopt to start acquiring higher motivational level and achieve greater success.

Writing Your Plan
Success does not come easy without any proper plan. Failing to plan is actually planning to fail. Therefore, you must give a greater emphasis on having well prepared plan to achieve your goals. You simply need to have your plan written on a piece of paper. Having your plan clearly written gives you more psychological inner drive to work toward achieving your goals. You create more enthusiasm and can see more clearly how you want to achieve your goals. Thus, your commitments will be much stronger.

When writing down your goals, state very specific terms. For example, if you want to accumulate certain amount of money, state exactly how much you want. You must also set a specific date to fulfill your goals and specific rewards for achieving your goals. Writing is not enough if you do not follow up with some reading. You have to make a point to read your written plan at least twice a day. Once in the morning before you start your day; and one at night just before you go to bed. This simple routine will keep you stay motivated.

Be realistic, things happen in life. Unforeseen circumstances may sometimes require you to make adjustments in your plan. Go ahead and make the necessary adjustments. But, try to maintain realistic limits. Do not make it too easy or too hard for you to achieve. Set it just right to maintain your motivation level.

Visualizing Your Goals
You need to simply make your goals as visual as possible to maintain your motivation at the highest level possible. If your goal is to own an apartment, find pictures of your desired apartment keep them in front of your eyes. Visualizing your goals creates a positive impact on your mind and keeps your motivation surging. When you feel very down, visuals will help you provide the necessary boost to surge your motivation level.

Like the written plan, you have to make a point to see the visuals at least twice a day. The images you see of yourself achieving the goals you desire will instill strong impact in your mind, which will control your actions to maintain your level of motivation.

Controlling Your Feeling
This one is not quite straight forward action. It has to do with your feeling in your mind. You need to control what you feel. Your feeling will reflect your mental attitude and moods. If you feel upset and depressed, you will feel as if everything crashes on you. This feeling reflects on your physical self. You will lose concentration and everything you do will be full of mistakes. You have to learn to start controlling your feeling.

The simplest way will be to start your day with a smile. No doubt this can be fake at times due to things that happen around you, but you have got to master this simple task to ensure that things around you will be pleasant and enjoyable for the rest of the day. You can feel the enthusiasm and energy level soaring. You will be able to stay motivated and spread positive energy around you.

Your mental and physical attitudes work closely. Hence, to stay motivated, learn to develop cheerful and confident characters by simply walking with your face up and smile on it. You will realize that your confidence and self motivation developing. It is probably kind of hard to maintain the action, but with time, once it naturally becomes your way of life, you are able to motivate yourself even during difficult times.

Giving Your Effort A Reward
You need to give yourself a reward for what you have achieved. This one simply acts as an appreciation to yourself in achieving your goals. You have to credit yourself for what you have gone through, your determination and your hard work in ensuring your success.

Earlier I said reward is a temporary method to motivate someone. In this case, a reward is not what keeps you motivated. It is just an element to add flavor to your self motivation exercise. You may want to think of a simple reward that sounds reasonable with what you have achieved. Do not get over excited about this. Meaning, the reward has to be at par with your level of achievement. Take this positively to further enhance your level of self motivation.

About the Author
Fadzil Dolmani

Self Motivation Techniques


1. Find a true interest in what you are doing. If you have no interest at all, it might mean you need to do something else. On the other hand, if it's just a task you dislike, relate it clearly in your mind to the greater goal. I don't particularly like to drive, but I don't have a motivation problem when I am driving to the mountains for a vacation.

2. Create energy. You need some energy for self motivation. Caffeine may help for a while, if it doesn't create other problems for you. You can also exercise and sleep well. Watch out for sugary foods - the "sugar blues" will kill your motivation. When you find energy boosters that work for you, make a list and keep it handy for future use.

3. Talk your way to motivation. This is one of my favorite ways to create energy and motivation. By the time I tell my wife about the article I'm going to write, I'm out of my slump and back at the keyboard. If the task itself is less inspiring, talk about the larger goals it will help you achieve.

4. Stimulate desire. Imagining their potential future motivates many to sign up for get-rich-quick plans. Good salesmen can put you in your imagined dream home in minutes, and you'll feel motivated to do anything to make it real. Why not learn to be your own salesman?

5. Stimulate pain. An effective Neuro-Linguistic Programming technique is to link pain with not acting. This

is what happens when you finally stop hitting that snooze button on the alarm because you think you
lose your job. Imagine any bad consequences that may occur if you don't do what you need to do.

6. Start with any small step. I have found that if I commit to raking up one bag of leaves, I soon want to finish the yard work. Training yourself to take any small step towards your goals is a great self motivation technique. Breaking larger goals down into small steps makes this even easier.

These motivation techniques really work, but don't ask me how to get motivated to use them. Anyhow, you already were motivated enough to read this far, so you'll be fine. Oh, and humor is technique number seven. Laughing can overcome that feeling of being overwhelmed that sucks away self motivation.